My Instagram followers of nearly 40,000 often ask me about weight control and diet. Recently, I finished a YouTube video on sugar and how it can ruin your weight control. I offer lots of alternatives to sugar, which is a must if you have a sweet tooth. Protein, on the other hand, is an ingredient that will help you with your weight control, also, but with many other healthy benefits.
Even though I’ve had nearly 40,000 Instagram followers, I’ve never told anybody this except a few close friends. I certainly never posted about it on social media. Here it is—
Last year I was training to enter a body building competition! It was going to be the natural division so you couldn’t have any drugs in your system. It was the natural division for 50 years old and older. For one year, I had a personal trainer and I worked out five to six times a week. The reason I bring this up is because my trainer helped me understand the importance of protein in your diet.
As many of you know, I’m an international fashion model and as you can imagine I need to keep my weight pretty steady throughout the years. I’ve learned quite a few tricks how to do just that and I want to share them with you now.
I have not eaten red meat in decades. I tend to be more of a plant based eater. Sometimes I’ll eat fish and rarely will I eat a piece of chicken. Obviously, getting enough protein in my diet was a strong consideration and it became an ever bigger consideration when I started my body building training.
My personal trainer told me to consume an 8 oz glass of a protein powder drink before I’d workout and also after I’d workout. This really boosted my protein intake and, boy, did I feel better. I felt so much more energized! I was more in touch with my hunger and I felt when I needed more nutrients. Consuming more protein turned on the switch for a better functioning body.
What happened was I gained four or five pounds, which she wanted me to gain because I was on the low side of weight for my height. What also happened was the muscle mass I gained. I put on more weight on my biceps and my booty or tights but not on my waist.
With eating more protein (I never knew this and it’s a wonderful bit of news) it helps to boost your metabolism and decrease your appetite while increasing the amount of calories you burn. It’s really good for your muscles because as you get older you start to lose muscle mass. The protein helps build that muscle mass while it kick starts your metabolism again. You burn calories more purely and you lose your appetite. I mean, what better weight control secret is there? It just blew me away! I was eating more and feeling better and not gaining weight while I increased my workout routine. By adding protein in your diet you can lose weight.
Like I mentioned earlier, I haven’t had red meat in a long time. You might be wondering what protein alternatives there are to red meat. Before I tell you the alternatives to meat I just want to point out that vegetarianism can help combat hunger in the world because over 80% of the farmland in America is dedicated to raising livestock and 75% of the food that we grow goes to feeding those livestock. Imagine if that farmland was used to grow edible plants and those plants feed people, it would probably tip the scales on hunger in this country.
Consider these facts, as well: growing plants would help purify the air with all of the carbon dioxide they absorb and oxygen they release. Cows themselves release gases which are 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Working with cows you have to use a lot resources to raise them. They get most of the fresh water we have and yet they create a lot of the dirty water. Once their meat is ready to be transported the carbon emissions from trucking the meat plus emissions from the cars and planes to transport the meat plus refrigeration of the meat consumes a significant amount of fuel. That’s a lot of polluting the environment to get food on our table when alternatives such as growing fruits and vegetables, which are not taxing or depleting on the environment, are a viable alternative.
Let me give you a list of foods that you could substitute for meat in your diet if you’re not going to have meat or at least cut back to eating red meat two times a week. It would actually be an opportunity for you to have a more healthy diet. It’s not hard as you might think. It’s a lot of fun because it’s creative and you might discover you’re a good cook after all. Plus, it’s worth repeating, it’s more ethical.
Some of the alternatives for protein sources that I have incorporated into my diet and you can too, are—
Seitan, tempeh, tofu, edamame, lentils, all kinds of beans which are great to make soups with, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds (I like to sprinkle those only salad or my popcorn or even top it on yogurt because of it’s nutty flavor) green peas, blue-green algae, (which has the highest concentration of protein than any plant that’s grown on the earth). I like to sprinkle the algae on granola or oatmeal. You can consume it in a capsule or tablet form if you don’t like green food or don’t like the idea of sprinkling algae on your food. I offer a brand of blue-green algae on my website which I recommend. Here is a link.
To continue with other forms of protein, there are sprouted breads, quinoa, oatmeal and oats and wild rice. Chia seed and nuts plus all those delicious nut butters are other forms of protein. Of course, vegetables are on that list as well.
The last way to get protein that I know of is through food combing. There are many lists when you search on the internet for food combining meals. A very simple process, you get to be creative and your plate of food can be so colorful. It’s easy on the pocketbook and it’s fresh and flavorful plus it’s ethical.
I hope these ideas and suggestions will inspire you to consume more protein so you can maintain weight or lose weight, whatever it is you need to do, while you help build your health and help support the planet. Remember, you’ll be helping to strengthen and increase your bone mass which will keep you strong and sturdy as you get older.
Stay well, be strong and if you are interested in watching the video on this subject click here.
Thanks for being here and I appreciate your support!